________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 21. . . .February 6, 2015


Off the Rim. (Orca Sports).

Sonya Spreen Bates.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2015.
157 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0888-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0889-8 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0890-4 (epub).

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Mark Mueller.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



“I read about it online. I don’t know if it’ll work for basketball, but it sounded good, didn’t it?” Just then her phone chirped, and she pulled it out of her pocket to check the message.

As quickly as she’d pulled the phone out, she shoved it off again and shoved it into her purse.


When Dylan Lane is chosen for the starting line-up for his high school basketball team during the regional playoffs, he and his team need to be on top of their game. When Dylan needs to focus on his game, he and his girlfriend Jenna are nearly run off a country road by a black pickup truck. Over the next few weeks, Jenna starts to receive anonymous warnings on her mobile device to stay silent about something she knows nothing about. When Jenna starts to receive the threats through her email and her Facebook accounts from someone named Nick Smith, she discloses to Dylan that she is being harassed. Dylan then finds himself put into the position where he needs to help Jenna work out the situation while trying to keep on top of the game before the regional finals.

      Off the Rim is Sonya Spreen Bates second novel in the “Orca Sports” series. This novel moves at a very good pace, and the characters are both likeable and believable. The novel also has an ending that is unconventional yet strangely satisfying – at least in this reviewer’s opinion – for a sports novel. The author also tastefully deals with contemporary issues facing adolescents, issues such as online harassment and online bullying. This is one of my favorite books in the “Orca Sports” series yet, and it would be a good addition to a school or public library.

Highly Recommended.

Mark Mueller is the Education Librarian at Tyndale University College in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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